User-Pay Research Trial Ends
The trial of an innovative unloading platform at a processing facility in SE Queensland saw industry, government and the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator come together to support a focus on improving the safety of drivers unloading cattle at feedlots, saleyards and processors. Kilcoy Global Foods (KGF) partnered with the ALRTA to undertake a research trial to explore the potential of a ‘user-pay’ system to accelerate the uptake of safer unloading infrastructure, funded through the NHVR’s Heavy Vehicle Safety Infrastructure Initiative, supported by the Federal Government.
Designed and installed by ProWay, the Crate Parallel Access Landing (P.A.L.) provides a safe working platform along the length of a b-double set of trailers. When using the Crate P.A.L. drivers no longer need to climb up and down along the side of the crate, reducing the risk of falling from height or being struck by livestock.
Over a 12-week period commencing 2 September 2019, the Crate P.A.L. was available for use on a voluntary basis. The usage charge, determined via two surveys of ALRTA member operators, was initially set at $15.00 and reduced by $2.50 every two weeks, before being removed on 16 December 2019. Project plans are subject to all sorts of variables, and in this project the trial period was extended into December 2019 when technical issues in late November lead to a temporary shutdown in its operation.
ALRTA collected data on usage rates at different charging levels and Kilcoy Global Foods provided data on the number of trucks entering the site to unload cattle daily.
Our preliminary analysis shows that usage rates generally increased as usage prices decreased.
The data collected will be used to calculate capital pay-back periods (i.e. how long will it take to fully recover the cost of a Crate P.A.L. at different pricing levels?). If user-pay is proven viable, ALRTA will develop a business case for the rapid installation of safer unloading infrastructure at other major livestock depots.
Feedback about using the unloading platform has been largely positive with drivers reporting that it certainly is much safer as well as quick and easy to use.
Please contact ALRTA is you have any questions 02 6247 54 34 or contact us.
To view the ALRTA innovative livestock unloading frame trail video go to https://youtu.be/k3wTAy5aPdM